Philip N. Cohen

Event Information

Date & Time
May 23, 2013 -
4:15pm to 5:45pm
Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center
424 Santa Teresa St.
Stanford , CA
California US

You are here

Gay Marriage, the Supreme Court, and the Politics of Sociology


Please join us for a discussion with Philip Cohen, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park, and expert on social and family inequality, on the intersections of law, religion, and sociology in the context of gay marriage. Cohen will speak on the aftermath of the 2012 Regnerus Study, funded largely by conservative foundations, which suggested that growing up with gay or lesbian parents was harmful to children.

This event is part of the Clayman Institute's 2012-2013 theme which focuses on moving beyond barriers between work, family, and society. Gay marriage currently lies at the forefront of the debate on work and family inequality. To visit Professor Cohen's blog on family inequality, click here.  This event is co-sponsored by the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, the Program in Feminist Studies, and QuEST.

Read on for further information:

In 2012 a second-tier sociology journal published a study by Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, funded by $800,000 from conservative foundations. The study measured wellbeing outcomes for the grown children of parents who had same-sex relationships, suggesting that growing up with gay or lesbian parents was harmful to children. The controversy that erupted drew in New York Times columnists, the American Sociological Association, the Heritage Foundation and a raft of bloggers. The journal commissioned an internal inquiry and published a special issue of commentary. While experts quickly debunked the study, sociologists wondered how it got published, and activists unearthed the researcher's emails through public records requests - revealing a chain of links from deep-pockets on the religious right through academic sociology and all the way to the Supreme Court, where the justices debated two landmark gay marriage cases. This presentation includes a scientific critique of the research itself, as well as a reflection on the implications of the "Regnerus Affair" for the politics of sociology.

Click here to RSVP and share this event with your community! 


    • Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland at College Park
    Philip N. Cohen is a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he teaches sociology of the family and social inequality, and writes the blog Family Inequality. He has published research in leading sociology and demography journals on family structure and the gender division of labor, children's wellbeing, labor market inequality by race and gender, and demographic measurement. He is...